Slowly, thanks to the vaccine and less restrictions, people are venturing out with kids back in school, workers returning to offices, people dining out and some (gasp!) traveling. While many people are eager to jump back into life with both feet, others find their feet firmly planted at home.
Older adults especially seem to have a harder time resuming life outside of the home after more than a year of quarantining. Being in the age group most vulnerable to COVID-19, many seniors remain truly buttoned up at home thanks to the support of family and caregivers.
Today some seniors, along with people of all ages, are experiencing the newly coined term, “FOGO,” or fear of going out. Post-lockdown anxiety comes from the fear of going out after restrictions are lifted, worrying about staying healthy and inability to make long-term plans.
While these fears and concerns are genuine and can be overwhelming, it is possible to leave the safety and comfort of home with confidence and, hopefully, overcome FOGO once and for all by following these simple tips.
Eight Tips to Overcome FOGO
Play Dress Up
If you are going to venture out, you should dress the part. That means changing from loungewear to pants that button and shoes with soles. After all, when you look better, you feel better!
Bring along things you need to help keep you protected such as a face covering and hand sanitizer. Make sure your phone is charged in case you need to call a friend for a boost of confidence when you are out and about.
Don’t start with a full day of errands, but instead, go at your own pace. Take a mini trip to pick up dry cleaning and then back home. The next day, go to the hardware store and then back home. Eventually, you can build up to being comfortable with making multiple stops in one outing.
Prioritize Self Care
As life gets busier, continue to carve out time to do the things that you enjoyed and that helped you relax while sheltering at home. Whether it is building puzzles, practicing yoga, baking or reading, make time to do what brings you joy and recharges your battery.
Keep focused on the here and now, and don’t worry about what the future holds. Put your energy into appreciating the good things in your life today and not into fretting about what challenges may lay ahead.
While you and your relatives want to resume family gatherings, it may be overwhelming at first, especially if your family is large. Start by scheduling visits one-on-one with siblings, children and grandchildren instead of seeing everyone all at once.
Adopt Healthy Habits
Keep focused on remaining healthy by sticking to regularly scheduled doctor visits and health screenings, eating well-balanced meals, staying hydrated, getting enough sleep and exercising regularly. This will help you maintain a strong immune system to fend off germs and viruses that you may be exposed to when you go out in public.
Talking to others about your fear of going out will help you gain a new perspective on the situation and can make you feel less anxious. You may discover that other people you know feel the same way, and you can support each other in overcoming FOGO.